How do I install OpenOffice?

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newishy
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How do I install OpenOffice?

Post by newishy »

First of all why is OpenOffice not available in the Software Center?

Well I've had to do it the harder way manually. I followed the instructions from their site https://www.openoffice.org/download/com ... html#linux and downloaded the 'DEB-based installation' and extracted it.

However it does say at the top: Check to see if LibreOffice has re-routed the OpenOffice binary.
Type "whereis soffice" from a console.
If this is symlinked to libreoffice, remove the symlink.


The problem is for a total beginner like me I have been unable to find how to 'remove a symlink' (is that a shortcut?) and it's been so confusing - the installation using the commands given did not succeed as a result because of that /usr/bin/soffice symlink. I managed to delete the soffice file as root to try out, but the installation still failed.

Please can someone help? I am very new to this and don't know what to do.
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wallyUSA
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Re: How do I install OpenOffice?

Post by wallyUSA »

newishy wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 12:03 pm First of all why is OpenOffice not available in the Software Center?
You might want to take a look at LibreOffice. It is in the Software Manager. Very similar to OO and better support IMHO.
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billyswong
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Re: How do I install OpenOffice?

Post by billyswong »

Unless you have extremely specific need, the preinstalled LibreOffice shall serve everything you want to get with OpenOffice. OpenOffice has stalemated for many years and LibreOffice is the current active fork that everyone should switch to.
newishy
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Re: How do I install OpenOffice?

Post by newishy »

I'm aware about Libre being more active but yes I have a specific need to use AOO.

Judging by what's said on that instructions page, it should be possible to run AOO and Libre side by side.
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Re: How do I install OpenOffice?

Post by billyswong »

newishy wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 12:03 pm The problem is for a total beginner like me I have been unable to find how to 'remove a symlink' (is that a shortcut?) and it's been so confusing - the installation using the commands given did not succeed as a result because of that /usr/bin/soffice symlink. I managed to delete the soffice file as root to try out, but the installation still failed.
I think you shall uninstall the whole OpenOffice then retry again. The "Linux Pre-installation Notes" should be applied before installation, not after.
newishy
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Re: How do I install OpenOffice?

Post by newishy »

billyswong wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 1:17 pm
newishy wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 12:03 pm The problem is for a total beginner like me I have been unable to find how to 'remove a symlink' (is that a shortcut?) and it's been so confusing - the installation using the commands given did not succeed as a result because of that /usr/bin/soffice symlink. I managed to delete the soffice file as root to try out, but the installation still failed.
I think you shall uninstall the whole OpenOffice then retry again. The "Linux Pre-installation Notes" should be applied before installation, not after.
I see. Then what exactly do they mean by 'removing the symlink'? Since I'm not sure what this means.
Coggy
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Re: How do I install OpenOffice?

Post by Coggy »

symlink is a symbolic link to a different location, a kind of alias. You can remove it just as though it was a normal file. Try these 2 commands:
ls -l /usr/bin/soffice just to see what a symbolic link looks like, and
sudo rm /usr/bin/soffice to remove it.
But I would recommend that you uninstall libreoffice (which will of course remove that link anyway) instead.
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Re: How do I install OpenOffice?

Post by billyswong »

newishy wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 2:03 pm I see. Then what exactly do they mean by 'removing the symlink'? Since I'm not sure what this means.
They just mean removing the /usr/bin/soffice file, which is a "symbolic link" but not "normal file" in default Linux Mint computer. In Unix ecosystem, symbolic link is something close to shortcut file in Windows on surface but different in a crucial aspect - it is transparent to almost all user applications. A program won't notice they are reading/writing/executing a file through symbolic link unless they explicitly check for it.

Implication:
Let say you created a link /home/newishy/link1, pointing to /home/newishy/Documents/subfolder/subfolder/subfolder. And let say in that last subfolder there is a file call inner.txt. Then command line tools can access the inner.txt via /home/newishy/link1/inner.txt. When you browse into the link1 folder in GUI file manager, it may not even remind you that you are looking at a folder link in address bar, as /home/newishy/link1 is a "valid" folder path.

On the other hand, shortcut files in Windows is opaque to Windows terminal and you can't run programs like that. When double clicking on a shortcut to folder in Windows, you will be redirected to the "real" folder and be shown the "real" path in address bar.

Implication 2:
Since it is not explicit redirection but transparent to user application, when a program is being launched by a link, if it look at what other files exist in the "same folder" of itself, it is seeing in the aspect of the symlink. So if that program was coded in assumption of some other auxiliary files exist in a relative path of itself (e.g. same folder of itself), running a symlink to that program will break.
Last edited by billyswong on Tue Nov 28, 2023 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
newishy
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Re: How do I install OpenOffice?

Post by newishy »

Coggy wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 2:20 pm symlink is a symbolic link to a different location, a kind of alias. You can remove it just as though it was a normal file. Try these 2 commands:
ls -l /usr/bin/soffice just to see what a symbolic link looks like, and
sudo rm /usr/bin/soffice to remove it.
But I would recommend that you uninstall libreoffice (which will of course remove that link anyway) instead.
That soffice file was already deleted by me before as stated, and it hasn't popped back since. There's no way to have Libre installed at the same time then?
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Re: How do I install OpenOffice?

Post by billyswong »

newishy wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 2:57 pm That soffice file was already deleted by me before as stated, and it hasn't popped back since. There's no way to have Libre installed at the same time then?
That symlink is not necessary for LibreOffice to function. It is just a over-caring act for "easier" migration from OpenOffice to LibreOffice, lingered from the early days of fork. That's why OpenOffice installation instruction ask you to just delete it *before* OpenOffice installation, to prevent mess up to both sides.

Supposed you follow every steps in correct order, the two office suite can coexist. But one may need to back up that particular soffice file, and double-check after each LibreOffice update.
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Re: How do I install OpenOffice?

Post by newishy »

billyswong wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 3:06 pm
newishy wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 2:57 pm That soffice file was already deleted by me before as stated, and it hasn't popped back since. There's no way to have Libre installed at the same time then?
That symlink is not necessary for LibreOffice to function. It is just a over-caring act for "easier" migration from OpenOffice to LibreOffice, lingered from the early days of fork. That's why OpenOffice installation instruction ask you to just delete it *before* OpenOffice installation, to prevent mess up to both sides.

Supposed you follow every steps in correct order, the two office suite can coexist. But one may need to back up that particular soffice file, and double-check after each LibreOffice update.
That soffice file has long gone, not even in the trash strangely. But anyway, OpenOffice does seem to work! According to the article the executable is in /opt/openoffice4/program, I went there and launched it and it's working fine - LibreOffice also works side by side.

Taking a closer look at the article, it sounds like OO itself did install successfully but it's the 'desktop-integration' part that failed. OpenOffice has not popped up in the Cinnamon applications menu which I assume is because of no desktop-integration. (i've managed to add it manually though)

By the way why is OO not in the Mint store? Is there a place where I can maybe suggest it? That would certainly make it easier especially for the target market of Mint.
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Re: How do I install OpenOffice?

Post by Moem »

newishy wrote: Wed Nov 29, 2023 8:50 am By the way why is OO not in the Mint store? Is there a place where I can maybe suggest it? That would certainly make it easier especially for the target market of Mint.
It's not in the Mint store because the Mint software manager gets its software from the Ubuntu repository, and I guess the keepers of that repo consider it to be too outdated, and too similar to the more up-to-date LibreOffice.
And personally I feel that most of the target market of Mint is either happily using the pre-installed LibreOffice, or using a different office suite altogether. Almost no one prefers Open Office.
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Re: How do I install OpenOffice?

Post by RollyShed »

newishy wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 12:44 pmI'm aware about Libre being more active but yes I have a specific need to use AOO.
Maybe explaining that would get an answer of how to get LibreOffice to do the job?
newishy
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Re: How do I install OpenOffice?

Post by newishy »

RollyShed wrote: Wed Nov 29, 2023 3:54 pm
newishy wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 12:44 pmI'm aware about Libre being more active but yes I have a specific need to use AOO.
Maybe explaining that would get an answer of how to get LibreOffice to do the job?
Honestly OpenOffice has a much better interface as well. LibreOffice has always looked so... off. That interface alone makes me want to avoid Libre.
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Re: How do I install OpenOffice?

Post by RollyShed »

newishy wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 5:53 pm
RollyShed wrote: Wed Nov 29, 2023 3:54 pm
newishy wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 12:44 pmI'm aware about Libre being more active but yes I have a specific need to use AOO.
Maybe explaining that would get an answer of how to get LibreOffice to do the job?
Honestly OpenOffice has a much better interface as well. LibreOffice has always looked so... off. That interface alone makes me want to avoid Libre.
That doesn't explain the "have to use Open Office".
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Re: How do I install OpenOffice?

Post by billyswong »

newishy wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 5:53 pm Honestly OpenOffice has a much better interface as well. LibreOffice has always looked so... off. That interface alone makes me want to avoid Libre.
Can you provide more info here? I don't know any significant difference of UI between OO and LO. Some screenshot examples will be appreciated.
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Re: How do I install OpenOffice?

Post by mpmivo »

I've been looking into same issue. Going back to linux after years. Where is my openoffice, i use it also on win.

Never heard of libre. But comparing those two, it is minimal difference, seems libre has much more support and is recent, developing..
Not worth my time and effort to mess arround uninstalling Libre in mint, screwing something along and doing openoffice.

Only thing i cant find, is a find button, but i guess i can add it from the main panel.
I use only writer and math.
newishy
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Re: How do I install OpenOffice?

Post by newishy »

billyswong wrote: Fri Dec 01, 2023 12:51 am
newishy wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 5:53 pm Honestly OpenOffice has a much better interface as well. LibreOffice has always looked so... off. That interface alone makes me want to avoid Libre.
Can you provide more info here? I don't know any significant difference of UI between OO and LO. Some screenshot examples will be appreciated.
LO seems to always look too big and take too much vertical space. OO has a feel closer to old school MS Office. It's a subtle difference yet effective. I'm not on that PC for a screenshot but hope you get the idea.
mpmivo wrote: Mon Dec 11, 2023 11:34 am I've been looking into same issue. Going back to linux after years. Where is my openoffice, i use it also on win.

Never heard of libre. But comparing those two, it is minimal difference, seems libre has much more support and is recent, developing..
Not worth my time and effort to mess arround uninstalling Libre in mint, screwing something along and doing openoffice.

Only thing i cant find, is a find button, but i guess i can add it from the main panel.
I use only writer and math.
Libre has more support/development, but then I think about whether it's even necessary. Up until quite recently I was still using MS Office 2007 but it was still perfectly capable of doing all my writing docs and spreadsheets. Office programs don't really require much change and updating for the vast majority of users so OpenOffice therefore still and always will serve well.

By the way, what I have done did not uninstall anything. I have installed OpenOffice and still have LibreOffice side by side, so you don't have to worry about breaking stuff. Just get and extract the DEB installer, delete /usr/bin/soffice, launch the installation command, and you should be able to launch OpenOffice from the /opt/openoffice4/program folder. You can then also pin it to your applications menu.
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Re: How do I install OpenOffice?

Post by The Muffin Man »

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